Roses and thorns: 8/19/12

August 18, 2012 10:21:03 PM



A rose to Columbus school officials for making the extra effort to encourage community support at high school football games this season. The Columbus Falcons Athletic Club -- a new booster club made up of community leaders, parents, teachers and staff --are setting up shop at each home game. Fans can sign up for prizes, purchase T-shirts and other Falcon-themed merchandise. The extra effort is worthy of praise. Remember, Friday nights are not just football. They also serve as a showcase for the band and cheerleaders. Each group has worked hard to prepare for the season. They deserve support and encouragement. 




A thorn to the Monroe County man who was arrested this week for operating a meth lab in the shadow of a school and across the street from a church. Richard Wallace Smith was arrested on Wednesday when law enforcement officials discovered a working meth lab in Smith's apartment, which is located about 25 feet from Hamilton High School. While we don't condone meth labs anywhere, if you insist on such criminal conduct, please open shop out in the woods somewhere where you can blow yourself up without risking the lives of school-children. Here is hoping for a jail sentence that fits the offense. 




A rose to Maridith Gauder, who joins Mississippi University for Women as executive director of university relations after two decades in a similar capacity at Mississippi State University. Gauder, a West Point native with long-standing bonds of affection for MUW, is a coup for the school. Her reputation as an energetic, skilled professional is certain to raise the school's profile. 




A rose to Lowndes County School District's pre-kindergarten program, which is being offered at its three elementary schools for the first time. The pilot program is funded through a grant and eligible only certain disadvantaged children. Research shows that children who do not go to pre-K can be as much as 18 months behind their peers and may not close the gap. If poverty isn't the greatest issue in Mississippi, education is. In fact, it is likely that poverty and education are two sides of the same coin. The LCSD's pre-K will be watched closely and can serve as a model for our schools to follow. That's definitely a step in the right direction.